4 women on surviving or leaving a bad marriage: 'I thought worrying about my happiness was selfish'

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Illustration photo by Getty Images
Illustration photo by Getty Images

'WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO BE SOMEONE YOU'RE NOT, IT'S NOT A NICE PLACE TO BE'

Yvette*, 49, left her husband in 2009 after 22 years together and 19 years of marriage. "I realised that my life is worth nothing if I have no joy," she says. They have three children, now aged 22, 20 and 14.

"Our issues started when our second child was 18-months-old, and I decided to go back to work. My husband became resentful and controlling in a subtle way: 'I'll be nice to you if you do what I want'. I reinvented myself several times to please him. He became manipulative - he'd question my spending, and I had to negotiate with him to get $50 from my fortnightly pay packet - and wasn't interested in counselling.

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